The other two people in the accident brought their vehicles to the shop as well, which is not the best way to build a car count, Reyes explained.
She didn’t think about the vehicle again until one evening while she and her family were on vacation at Lake Livingston, Texas. “I got a text that said my car had just crossed a bridge, and I was shocked, to say the least,” Reyes said. “When we called Brian, he said he was picking up the car from a PDR place, but how many PDR shops are open on a Saturday night at 11:30 p.m.? My husband and I knew something was definitely wrong right then and there. I was mad at this point, and I wanted my car back!”
After two weeks of excuses from their new sketchy “partner,” Reyes got her Mercedes back and none of the work had been done. “We found out that Brian received a $5,000 check from the insurance company and that was a bad sign,” she said. “Then, when we learned he cashed it at a nearby liquor store, we were really worried. We went through all of the shop’s files and saw that he took in ten cars and did nothing, but cashed all of the insurance checks—a total of $150,000!”
This discovery began a story that included deception and fraud, as Tiffany and Augustine Reyes learned more and more every day. “We met with an attorney and the Houston Police Department and it was worse than we imagined,” she said. “David had done the same thing two times previously, and was being sued and charged for insurance fraud and theft. He had it down; after six to nine months, he would take flee and let other people clean up the mess. The worst thing was that he got away with it every time. He would not appear in court and the cases were all eventually dropped. He walked away, scot-free each time and was cocky about it.”
David thought he was going to succeed again with his proven body shop scam, but he didn’t anticipate what would happen next.